Google Play, which was originally born and referred to by Google as the Android Market, is Google's official store and portal for Android apps, games and other content for your Android-powered phone or tablet. Just as Apple has its App Store, Google has the Google Play Store. It's a huge place and it offers a lot of content to its users, but don't worry, though. Android Central is here to help!
On this page you'll find a list of featured stories that should help answer all your questions about the Play Store and get you well on your way to discovering all the great content — and how to best find it and get it on your Android device. Scroll down further and you'll find the latest Google Play-related discussions from our community members, and scroll down further store and you'll find the latest news and content related to the Play Store.
The Play Store has Apps, Games, Music & More!
Before we get to the meat, let's talk a few minutes about the Google Play Store and cover some basic settings. Google Play is the big Googly umbrella that covers the Android app store, Play Music, Play Books, Play Magazines and Play Movies and TV. You'll find each of these apps installed individually on your phone or tablet, along with the stand alone Google Play application where you can download and purchase apps and media. Not every service is available in every country, so you might be missing one or more of the items. That's something Google is constantly working on, and we hope all the services roll out across the globe soon.
We're going to cover each of the apps individually below, but there are a few general settings in the Google Play app you'll want to set before you get started.
Open the Google Play application on your phone or tablet —and you'll need to be logged in with a Google account at this point —and either with the menu button if your phone has one, or the action overflow indicator (three dots in the upper right) look for the line item that says "Settings" and tap it. You'll be faced with a few things you can set, and most of them are geared towards Android applications. We'll talk about those all in turn, but for now we want to look at the portion labeled "User Controls."
These are global settings for all areas of the store, and you'll want to make sure you have them set the way you like. Under Content filtering you can select whether or not to show apps that may have adult material. Google doesn't allow porn or hate-speech in the Play Store, but there are quite a few apps with subject matter you might not be comfortable seeing, or not suitable for the kids. Be sure to set this accordingly.
The next item is marked Password, and having it checked means that you'll need to enter your Google account password to make in-app purchases. This can be pretty important, especially if you let youngsters or a smart phone novice play games on your phone and they aren't aware that these can cost real money. If the box is unchecked, you can make those purchases without having to enter your credentials each time.
Once you have those settings to your liking, you're ready to tackle the Play store. Below you'll find some handy links to walk you through each portion, and some tips to get you headed in the right direction.